By Matt McClure
Competitive axe-throwing has made its way out west and found its newest home in Arizona. LumberJaxes, Phoenix’s first axe-throwing facility, recently opened just blocks away from the Angels’ Tempe Diablo Stadium.
LumberJaxes founders Corey Deasy, Matt Peyton, and Jack Welsh came upon the axe-throwing experience while vacationing in Canada in 2016, and saw the opportunity to bring it to the Pittsburgh area. From there, the popular Canadian phenomenon grew in popularity and has now expanded to Tempe.
Their newest location is full of bays that stretch across the expansive warehouse. Each bay is separated by a chain-link fence to protect throwers from any flying axes or debris from the boards. LumberJaxes is a BYOB facility and, while that may arouse suspicion in regards to safety, founder Corey Deasy wants to quell that worry: “We don’t worry about it; we monitor it,” he says. “We have an axe-throwing instructor for every single group. We have our rules posted on the board over there and our very last rule says, ‘If you appear to be visibly intoxicated, you are not allowed to throw anymore.’ So the rule of thumb that we have is we encourage you to come on in and have a casual drink. No hard liquor, just beer or wine. The rule is one drink per hour. As long as everyone is following the rules then there is no issue.”
With plenty of local breweries in the area, there should be no shortage of options when it comes to bringing in beer. According to Deasy, making the venue BYOB makes the experience more customer-friendly.
“We just felt that it adds to the experience to be able to come in with your friends to enjoy a few casual drinks and have some fun,” Deasy says. “It also makes it so that it’s a more affordable experience. You go somewhere else to other entertainment complexes where they’re charging 6, 8, 10, 12 bucks for a drink. Well, you can come in, pay 35 bucks to throw some axes and bring your own food and beer, so it makes for a really fun and affordable experience.”
That $35 buys a two and a half hour group session that includes axes, targets and training. For an extra $5, LumberJaxes will soon offer other sharp objects to throw at the targets like ninja stars, knives, cards and Batman batarangs.
Axe-throwing is a sport in which anyone can thrive. The competitor’s skill level, age or gender doesn’t matter once you step into the bay and face off against your opponent. Along with that, nothing compares to the satisfaction of the sound or feeling of having an axe to stick into the target.
Whether it is for a work event or with a couple of friends, the large warehouse is dedicated to friendly competition. Throwing axes is an experience that can be enjoyed by everyone and can be mastered after just a little practice.
There are a variety of different games and activities you can participate in while throwing axes. Each game is supervised and led by an instructor who can keep score and ensure that all rules are being followed. While LumberJaxes’ goal is for its guests to have fun, Deasy stresses that safety is their first priority. “We have safety protocols in place and we’re members of the Federal Axe Throwing Association,” Deasy says. “This is our second location with more to come. We’ve been open without incident for over six months. I just want to make sure that this is something that is done in a relatively safe environment. It sounds scary but if you were actually here for an event, you would probably leave and be like ‘Wow, that was a lot safer and more fun that I thought it would be.’”
LumberJaxes, 3109 S. Fair Lane, Tempe, 480.773.6551, axethrowingphx.com, open 7 days a week from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
For more fun activities around the Valley, visit our Attractions page.